dancing with architecture: Fort Worth, Texas

The bride and I were able to spend about 24 hours in Fort Worth to partake of the local museums with an eye toward Modernism. And Fort Worth has its share of Modern marvels from Louis Khan to Tadao Ando to Philip Johnson to Renzo Piano.

Besides outright Modernism the town is crazy for Art Deco and Zigzag Moderne including a number of neo-Deco structures.

Cat Deco

There's also a bit of new to newish construction downtown:

What in Sam Hell?!?!?!

This is one of four massive shades downtown.

However, there's also some nice Brutalism in downtown.

Speaking of Brutalism, Louis Khan's Kimbell Art Museum (1972) is glorius:

Piet Mondrian!

Another Mondrian (an early one!)

The "silvery light" from the ceiling.

All the materials meeting in one intersection.

Across from the rear of and offset from Khan's building is a sympathetic addition to the Kimbell by Renzo Piano (2013). Piano worked in Khan's office, and his addition mirrors and touchstones Khan's Kimble while at the same time modernizing it.

from the inside...

from the outside...

from the inside...

from the outside...

Japan: The original indoor-outdoor living.

Across the street was the Art Deco Will Rogers Memorial Center (1936) designed by Wyatt C. Hedrik:

Back across the street (passing a teenager with an AR-15 slung over his shoulder in the intersection), we checked out the Tadao Ando-designed Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2002; Tadao was inspired to enter architecture after seeing Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel. It's a sedate building from the outside that reveals its creativity on the inside. It also touches on elements from Khan's work across the street.

We didn't stop in at Philip Johnson's Amon Carter Museum of American Art (1961; we've been there before, and it's a boring structure), but we did go see the Fort Worth Water Gardens (1974), which were quite spectacularly Brutalist and dangerous as hell (four people died in one event). Johnson designed the gardens, featured in Logan's Run, with John Burgee.

Another Brutalist park in town is Heritage Park (1976) designed by Lawrence Halprin (if you think about it, Fort Worth is about overcoming nature; therefore, perhaps that explains their affinity for uber controlled natural environments). Halprin studied under Gropius and Breuer and Philip Johnson and I.M. Pei. The park was considered endangered because it had been closed for so long, but it is thankfully fixin' to get restored.

1 comment:

  1. As a modern and brutalist architecture nut who grew up about 20 miles away and visited often as a kid, downtown Fort Worth and the Museum District have indescribably special power and meaning to me. Your captured it well. Thanks also for the tip on Heritage Park as I wasn't aware of it, but I'll be sure to catch it next time I'm in Fort Worth.